With the Windows 8 Developer Preview having been available for more than four months now, all eyes are on the beta or, as it could end up being called this time, the “consumer preview”. Even though no specific release date has been announced, the beta/consumer preview is scheduled to arrive sometime during February. But what about Windows 8 on ARM? Well, there finally seems to be some good news on that front as well. Hit the jump for more.
Screw the Emmys! The best gift bags of the past week came at Microsoft’s BUILD conference. The Redmond crew put their money where their mouths were and provided 5,000 developers with a tablet based off of the Samsung Series 7 Slate and packing a version of the Metro-tized Windows 8 Developer Preview. Theoretically, the gift was supposed to spur on app development for the upcoming operating system; instead, some not-so-gracious recipients have turned the tablets into quick cash on eBay.
While you can always put Windows 8 through its paces by downloading the Developer Preview, there is nothing quite like an absolutely free Windows 8 tablet with decent innards. Microsoft gave away 5,000 such Samsung Windows 8 tablets to developers at last week’s BUILD conference. A few of those developers are apparently so unimpressed that they are now desperately trying to get rid of these gratis tablets for whatever amount people are willing to pay. It turns out that people are willing to pay thousands of dollars.
If you've been itching to try out Windows 8 and get a first-hand look at the overhauled user interface, your window of opportunity just arrived. Microsoft unveiled its next major OS yesterday at its Build conference in Anaheim, California, and then made the developer preview available for download.
The Google Chrome Web Store is now open to developers. The developer preview means that developers have a fair amount of time to acquaint themselves with important aspects of the web store ahead of its public launch later this year. They can begin uploading apps through the Google Chrome Extensions Gallery and experience what selling web apps through the online store will feel like once it is live.
“Developers can now start uploading apps and experiment with packaging them, installing them in Chrome (using the latest Chrome dev channel) and integrating our payments and user authentication infrastructure,” Google said in a blog post. The web apps uploaded to the gallery during the developer preview will remain invisible to the general public.
Mozilla today made its Mozilla Developer Preview available for anyone who wants to play around with it. This marks the second pre-release version of the Gecko 1.9.3 platform.
The biggest news with this latest release is the out-of-process plugin support. Plugins, such as Flash and Silverlight, now run in a separate process similar to Chrome, so if a plugin goes belly up, it won't crash the browser along with it. In addition, unresponsive plugins are automatically restarted in the developer preview.
See here for a full list of features and download information.
Speed? Check. Minimalistic interface? Check. Better tab management, pretty good standards support, and support for third-party extensions? Check, check, and, well, not yet. But if Google's latest developer preview version of its Chrome browser is any indication, extensions will soon be supported as a standard feature.
"We're ready for a few more people to start using extensions - the kind of adventurous people who populate the dev channel," said Aaron Boodman, the Google engineer who oversees the extensions work.
Google recently began supporting extensions in developer versions of Chrome, but you had to input a command line switch. With the latest preview version of Chrome on Windows, however, extensions are supported by default.
The lack of extensions support has been a major criticism of Chrome ever since it launched, but with support seemingly right around the corner, Firefox users will be faced with a tough dilemma: Switch to Chrome, which has superior tab stability but a smaller library of extensions, or ride it out with Firefox in anticipation of version 4.0, which will also treat tabs as separate processes.
Question for the Firefox users: Would you switch to Chrome if it supported extensions? Hit the jump and tell us why or why not.